Last month Nestle Purina announced that it would enter the growing market of custom pet food. If you are asking what exactly custom pet food is, you are not alone. The majority of pet owners obtain their food from a pet food or grain store; and in circumstances when a prescription diet is needed, from their veterinarian. However, in the last few years, some owners have taken to formulating their own pet food either through a home cooked diet, or with the help of a commercial supplier that allows you to participate in the formulation of a diet.
If you are opting to make a home cooked diet, there is a strong likelihood that, unless you consult with a board certified veterinary nutritionist, your formulation will be deficient in one or more nutrients. This can be corrected by either obtaining the services of a veterinary nutritionist (your veterinarian should be able to refer you to one), or you can consult a service through University of California Davis College of Veterinary Medicine at the website balanceit.com.
If you would like to be able to formulate your pet’s diet, but don’t want the hassle of making a pet food at home, there are now services available from Nestle Purina available at JustRightPetfood.com, and through a company called Petbrosia. The benefit of these options is that the formulation is AAFCO approved as suitable for all lifestages, so you know your pet will not be deficient in any nutrients. You are able to pick a protein source, grain source (or grain free), and personalize the food based on your pet’s age, breed, weight, and other characteristics. The food comes complete with the dog’s photo and recipe on the bag. Of course, all of this personalization does mean the food is substantially more expensive than your average pet food at $62.99 for a 24# supply.
So, if custom pet food is for you, these new options can aid you in doing so without having to worry about your pet becoming nutrient deficient.